Réseau Syndical International de Solidarité et de Luttes

samedi, 28 mai 2022



No to slavery in Palestine

Accueil > International (Engl) > Africa > No to slavery in Palestine

Most of the Palestinian workers at the Yamit water filtration plant have been on strike since January 1, 2021 to obtain decent working conditions. The factory is located in one of the 19 illegal Israeli industrial zones located in the occupied West Bank, namely that of Nitzanei Shalom, near the Palestinian town of Tulkarm. The strikers say they want to be treated like human beings rather than slaves.

Their demands are as follows, under the terms of an agreement that had already been negotiated in November 2020, after a strike that lasted 20 days :
- Measures of protection, health and safety at work, in particular in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic.
- Sick leave and paid holidays like Israeli workers.
- Higher wages and a pension fund that ensures their contributions are kept until retirement.

The company has refused to respond to these demands and, instead of raising workers’ wages as stipulated in the agreement, it has lowered them and is threatening to fire any worker who supports the protests.

The International Labour Network of Solidarity and Struggles expresses its solidarity with the struggle of the Palestinian workers at the Yamit factory, and with Maan and New Unions. Discrimination against Palestinian workers is a constant in the Israeli policy of apartheid and occupation, and it is even worse in the occupied territories since 1967 which are practically lawless zones. In this specific case, we can add that the area of Nitzanei Shalom which mainly hosts Israeli chemical factories produce waste and polluting emissions that ruin the surrounding agricultural land, groundwater, atmosphere, and cause an increase in respiratory diseases, eye infections and cancer in the Palestinian population.

Beyond declarations of principle, the international community and the International Labor Organization must put pressure on the Israeli authorities and on the management of Yamit so that they respect the negotiated agreements, labor law, fundamental rights of the Palestinians, and international law ! The Israeli company Yamit, which mainly produces filters, and its partner Netafim, which manufactures irrigation equipment, could not survive and commit these crimes without distributing their products internationally, and without the active support of a network of companies and municipalities around the world (see for example here : https://www.yamit-f.com/reference/). The International Labour Network of Solidarity and Struggles asks trade union confederations and unions of these companies to put pressure on their management, on municipalities and on the distribution networks to put an end to these collaborations, as long as Yamit does not respect the terms of the agreement negotiated in November 2020.

We also recall that the Yamit company is located in the militarily occupied Palestinian territories and that such commercial activity is prohibited and illegal there under international law. While many Palestinians have no choice but to work in these companies, they nonetheless call on the international community to boycott the products of the Yamit and Netafim companies, filters and irrigation equipment, in a broader vision aimed at dismantling the Israeli apartheid system. This is the goal followed by the Palestinian call for boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) to which the International Labour Network of Solidarity and Struggles subscribes.